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Book Description
FIRST EDITION. 4to. 9.75 x 8 inches Letterpress title, engraved folding frontispiece panorama, engraved title with vignette illustration, illustrated with 6 further plates, one of which is folding, and one on the title page to the second half. Separate section title and page heads for The Antiquities of Selborne. Complete with five Latin appendices, index and errata leaf. This copy has the usual errors in pagination as noted by Martin. Inscribed by George Fludyer, MP for Chippenham and Appleby. Small private library label on the front paste-down indicating it belongs on ‘Shelf 2’
Dealer Notes
A very nice copy of this classic work of literature and natural history which has never been out of print since this it’s first appearance. Gilbert White’s name does not appear on the title page but the Advertisement is signed, Gil. White, Selborne, January 1st, 1788. The Natural History section is in the form of letters addressed to Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington. The Antiquities section, describing the history of the parish of Selborne, is also in epistle format but not addressed to known correspondents. The plates feature Birds, fossils, two engravings of Selborne church and several views of the village including a splendid panorama. This first edition cost one guinea when published and it is probable that no other book of Natural History has been more influential, Charles Darwin wrote that when about sixteen years old, ‘ From reading White’s Selbourne, I took much pleasure in watching the habits of Birds, and even made notes on the subject’. Thus Darwin’s attention was drawn to the subject of Natural History by Gilbert White, as were a host of others from all over the world, and the new science of Natural History became something any enquiring mind could indulge in, and non professionals could produce work of scientific importance.
Date 1789
Binding Bound in 19th C. full green morocco. Spine in compartments with raised bands and contrasting red morocco title label and gilt decoration. Marbled endpapers and all edges marbled.
Publisher London: Printed by T.Bensley; For B.White and Son
Condition A very nice copy
Pages v + 468 + [14] pp

Price: £1500.00

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